The “Bad Hombres” of Savageland

Living 15 minutes from the U.S-Mexico border, I’ve seen ridiculous crimes in the news, from health care fraud to marijuana being (very poorly) disguised as limes by smugglers. This does not mean that the fact that we have nine percent of all undocumented immigrants in Texas is the reason behind this. However, in the film Savageland, border town Sangre de Cristo of 57 loses over half its population in a mass murder and all fingers are pointed to Francisco Salazar, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who had been living in the town for years, due to the fact that he was an undocumented immigrant. Our nation’s current political climate makes Savageland hauntingly relevant, as throughout the film, Mexicans are stereotyped and said to “glorify death … because it’s the only thing they have to look forward to.” The non-Mexican residents of the area surrounding Sangre de Cristo claim they can’t pronounce the town’s name and just call it “Savageland,” because it’s mostly inhabited by “savage” Mexican immigrants. As a Mexican, the stereotypical statements made me laugh, but I know that there are people who truly believe that stereotype, which reminded me that if I encounter such people and I will not be laughing then.